The Best Paella Pan

Finding the best paella pan comes with looking into certain features like material, size, as well price and warranty. So, I’ve listed down the best paella pans I could find to help you find the right pan. A buying guide is also included here to make sure you select only the best paella pan.

Paella in a paella pan

Paella pans come in different materials, sizes, and prices. But let me tell you, finding the best paella pan for you shouldn’t be that hard. If you’re planning to buy one, let us help you out with making the right decision. Before we begin comparing, I want to give you a brief explanation of what paellas are, and why you should invest in a paella pan.

What is a Paella? 

Paella is a Spanish rice dish packed full of seafood or meat, vegetables, and spices. It is one of the best-known dishes in Spanish cuisine. To make this delicious rice dish from Valencia, you’ll need a good paella pan. The reason for this is because a paella pan lets the liquid evaporate swiftly. And it’s due to the pan’s wide surface. This, in turn, creates that crispy golden crust. 

Paella Pans Are Versatile

Investing in a paella pan means granting yourself a versatile cooking pan, as it can also be used for many cooking purposes. It’s excellent for stir-frying ingredients, searing steaks, and making chicken cutlets, or fish filters. I have used a paella pan to make pancakes before, and they worked well. You can also use it for preparing bacon, or even roasting meat. But one thing that you would love about paella pans is that they make everything really crispy.

Our Top Picks for the Best Paella Pans

ImageProductDetails
Best OverallGarcima 16-inch Paella PanGarcima 16-inch Paella Pan– Carbon steel
– 15.75 inches in diameter
– 16 x 2 x 16 inches
– Suitable for gas or charcoal grill, stovetops
– Oven safe
– Dishwasher safe
– Ideal for 4 to 6 people
Check price
Best Budget Paella PanGarcima 12-Inch Enameled Steel Paella PanGarcima 12-Inch Enameled Steel Paella Pan– Enameled Steel
– 12 inches in diameter
– 15.13 x 15.13 x 1.5 inches
– Oven safe- Dishwasher safe
– Ideal for 2 to 3 people
Check price
Best Cast Iron Paella PanVictoria Cast Iron Paella Frying PanVictoria Cast Iron Paella Frying Pan– Cast iron- 13 inches in diameter
– 14 x 15 x 2.3 inches
– Coated with 100% non
-GMO flaxseed oil
– Suitable for induction, ceramic, campfire, grill, and broiler
– Oven safe
– Lifetime Warranty
Check price
Best Pre-seasoned Paella PanFINEX 10-inch Cast Iron SkilletFINEX 10-inch Cast Iron Skillet– Stainless steel, cast iron
– 10 inches in diameter
– 2 x 2 x 2 inches
– Pre-seasoned
– Works on all cooktops
– Dishwasher safe
Check price
Best Carbon Steel Paella PanLodge Seasoned Carbon Steel SkilletLodge Carbon Steel Skillet– Carbon steel
– Pre-seasoned
– 15 inches in diameter
– 19.88 x 15 x 2.5 inches
– Suitable for gas, electric, induction stovetops, outdoor grills, or open fire
– Oven safe
Check price

The Best Paella Pans

Shopping for a good paella pan could be a royal pain in the rear. But, getting to know each pan in our list is a good way to start your shopping journey. Keep reading and we’ll discuss what’s in each of our recommendations.

Garcima 16-inch Paella Pan – Best Overall

Garcima 16-inch Paella Pan

If you’re going to cook a traditional paella, you might as well get the tool from its birthplace. This Garcima 16-inch Paella Pan originates from Spain. It has a wide and shallow surface perfect for sautéing meats and vegetables before adding Spanish rice. You will notice the  “dimples” in the base, which mimic those of traditional paella pans. This also helps with uniform heating throughout the surface of the pan. It has slope sides which makes it easy to stir.

This Garcima paella is extra thick and durable and conducts heat well. In terms of care, this pan requires a bit of maintenance after washing. A versatile kitchen tool, it’s safe to use on a gas or charcoal grill, on the stovetop, or in the oven.

What’s good about it:

– Budget-friendly

– Durable and versatile

– Excellent heat conduction

– Easy to use

What’s not so good about it:

– Requires a bit of maintenance

Garcima 12-Inch Enameled Steel Paella Pan – Best Budget Paella Pan

Garcima 12-Inch Enameled Steel Paella Pan

If you’re single and on a tight budget, but want to make a delicious rice casserole at home, the Garcima 12-Inch Enameled Steel Paella Pan would be a fantastic choice. This paella pan will save you some extra bucks for additional spices you might want to add to your paella. At an unbeatable price, you can have a tasty, freshly-made paella without breaking the bank.

It’s a durable enameled steel paella pan and is compatible with a stovetop, oven, or outdoor grill. This Garcima paella pan is a good everyday pan that you can use for more than just making paella. And because it’s small, it would fit easily in your dishwasher.

What’s good about it:

– Budget-friendly

– Durable

– Good for everyday use

– Fits easily in the dishwasher

What’s not so good about it:

– Some customer reviews claim the bottom is not truly flat, so it rocks a bit on flat stove tops

Victoria Cast Iron Paella Frying Pan – Best Cast Iron Paella Pan

Victoria Cast Iron Paella Frying Pan

We all love Kosher-certified cookware to ensure we’re only getting the best quality. The Victoria Cast Iron Paella Frying Pan could be the certified cast iron paella pan for you. As you may already know, cast iron has great heat retention. This means it holds heat longer to keep your paella fresh. It has an integrated double loop which makes it easy to use. The traces of iron in the pan gets into your food, and enhances the flavor, and boosts the minerals you get from your paella.

The Victoria paella pan is coated with 100% non-genetically modified (GMO) flaxseed oil for healthy cooking. This makes it perfect for releasing your paella at ease. It’s a versatile choice as you can totally maximize it for your cooking needs. Your return of investment on this pan will reflect on how well-made your paella will come out.

What’s good about it:

– Kosher-certified Paella Pan and has a non-GMO flaxseed oil coating

– Available in 5 different sizes

– Can be used for cooking, grilling, baking and even serving

– Comes with a lifetime warranty

What’s not so good about it:

– Smaller compared to other pans with the same price range but larger

FINEX 10-inch Cast Iron Skillet – Best Pre-seasoned Paella Pan

FINEX 10-inch Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron is one of the top choice materials for cookware. Although not a traditional paella pan, you could turn to FINEX 10-inch Cast Iron Skillet if you’re cooking with cast iron. This skillet is an indestructible kitchen tool, built for lifelong use. It’s pre-seasoned with organic flaxseed oil. It features a stainless steel coiled handle to cool down quickly. The octagonal “multi-pour” design makes paella easy to pour and better cooking control. It also has a thick base wall for even heating and heat retention.

The FINEX paella pan is handcrafted for multipurpose use. It works well with all cooktops such as gas, electric, and induction ranges. This paella pan is also oven safe and is suitable for cooking on the grill and open flame.

What’s good about it:

– Indestructible for lifelong use

– Pre-seasoned with organic flax seed oil

– Octagonal “multi pour” design makes easy pouring

What’s not so good about it:

– Hefty price

Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet – Best Carbon Steel Paella Pan

Lodge Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet

If you’re looking for a durable and lightweight carbon steel paella pan, this Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet could be the one you’ve been looking for. The Garcima one is my best choice of the same material. But I did put the Lodge on my list for its browning and searing capability. This pan is made of 12 gauge steel, which quickly heats up and spreads it religiously throughout the pan.  As versatile cookware, you can use it in the oven, on induction, electric, and gas-based stove. You can cook even on outdoor charcoal grills or open fire.

Many of the good perks with the Lodge is that it comes seasoned with natural oil. After your first paella-making session with it, you need to wash it by hand. You would also need to rub some cooking oil to season the pan. This helps avoid any kind of rusting or oxidation of the metal. But don’t be deterred from getting this paella pan; it’s still worth it.

What’s good about it:

– Made of carbon steel skillet

– Pre-seasoned with natural oil

– Durable; best for high heat cooking

– Compatible with induction, electric, and gas stove, grills, and open fire

What’s not so good about it:

–  Needs to be seasoned after each wash

Buying Guide: Selecting the Best Paella Pan 

Before investing in a new paella pan, there are things that you need to know before you make a decision. You may look at features such as the materials used, serving size, and budget. Are you looking for a dishwasher-safe paella pan? Being able to throw your pan in the dishwasher is also a good factor to look into.

Paella Pan Size

One of the things you would have to keep in mind is how many people a paella pan is capable of serving. Paella pan sizes range from 8 to 35 inches in diameter. If you’re single, or you have a small group to cook for, consider getting a pan that’s 10 to 13 inches. But if you’re serving a group of five to six people, 15 to 18 inches paella pans are great options. If more, you can always up your pan size.

As well as the diameter, you may also want to consider the depth of the pan you’re going to use. The deeper the depth, the more ingredients it will hold. Some brands make paella pans with a 2-inch depth. Others make paella pans with 5.5-inch depth.

Dishwasher Friendly

I don’t fancy cleaning paella pans, or pans and pots in general. And I know you feel me. If you’re the type to throw everything in the dishwasher, it’s only reasonable to get a pan that would fit in your dishwasher. You may end up getting a smaller or medium-sized pan. But if you’re fine with using those sizes, then it would make sense to get a dishwasher-friendly pan.

Budget and Warranty

Here’s one of the things that causes agony among shoppers. Always set a budget and choose a paella pan that measures up to your financial situation. Try pans that are made of carbon steel, as they are the cheapest ones. If you have excess, you can opt for stainless steel material.

Another important factor here is the warranty. It’s essential to check with the manufacturer about the coverage of their warranty policy. This way, you can be confident that you’ll be able to use your purchase for years to come.

Construction of Paella Pan

The construction of a paella pan is also an important factor to look into. Much like other cooking utensils, paella pans come in different materials. The most popular materials are carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron, and copper. By gaining knowledge of the different materials of paella pans, you will be able to figure out which one is suitable for your cooking style and needs.

Carbon Steel Paella Pan

Carbon steel paella pans are the ones that professional chefs and Spanish kitchens use. Its non-stick surface and excellent heating speed and distribution are what make carbon steel paella pans preferable. They are also lightweight, and cheaper than other materials. Carbon steel paella pans are praised for their capability of building a natural patina. This happens when there’s a reaction of ingredients in the pan, which creates these thin layers on the steel. And it adds flavor to the paella.

Aside from being naturally nonstick, carbon steel paella pans are also lightweight. They are durable, and suitable for all stovetops, grills, ovens, and even open flames. It’s worth noting that carbon steel paella pans can rust if not taken care of properly. So, some careful maintenance is at play at keeping your carbon steel paella pan at optimum condition.

Stainless Steel Paella Pan

Stainless steel pans are one of the top choices for making delicious paella. Carbon steel and stainless steel are very similar in many ways. Both conduct heat quickly, they are resistant to rust and easy to maintain. Stainless steel paella pans offer a superb cooking experience. The material gives the pan strength and firmness so it can hold heavy ingredients.

But unlike carbon steel paella pans, stainless steel is not naturally nonstick. This means that you could use more oil to easily release your paella. The good thing is that they are excellent at transferring heat throughout the pan. Plus, they are very attractive with their polished silver finish.

Non-stick Paella Pan

Nonstick paella pans are convenient if you want an easy-to-clean pan. But the downside is that it creates little to no socarrat — the giveaway in a well-made paella. It’s the caramelized crust of rice that sticks to the bottom of the paella pan. Other than this, nonstick paella pans are not to be used with metal utensils.

Cast Iron Pan

Cast iron paella pans are in the race of top choices when it comes to making the popular Spanish dish. Similar to carbon steel and stainless steel, cast iron is superior in conducting heat. But they take a while to heat up, whereas, carbon steel does the opposite. The good thing is that cast iron paella pans hold heat longer than carbon steel.

There’s a misconception that cast-iron paella pans are not recommended for cooking paella. But they are excellent at heating up leftover paella in case you crave it the next day.

Enameled Steel Pan

Enameled steel paella pans are not just great for making paella. They can also compete with other materials if we talk about durability. The enameled surface gives the pan protection against rusting while being naturally nonstick. Enameled steel paella pans deliver resilience to high heat. And it offers excellent heat distribution throughout the surface of the pan.

The downside of enameled paella pans or any cookware with the same surface is that the enamel can chip if you drop it or knock it off. So, careful handling on your part is what’s needed to maintain your paella pan.

Copper Paella Pan

Copper paella pans are one of the best for making that traditional dish that would take you to Valencia. This material gives the pan a shiny copper appeal to its surface, which exudes brilliance. Copper cookware generally looks gorgeous in your kitchen and dining table. Aside from being stunning, copper paella pans have a high heat-conducting capacity.

With all the charming perks, comes with a downside. Copper paella pans require a lot of maintenance to preserve their shiny surface. The bottom of the pan can also stain after a few sessions, and they are not to be put in the dishwasher. 

Paella Pan for Different Cooktops

When I shop for pans and any cookware in general, I always ask myself the most important question: “Is it right for my cooktop?”

Gas Cooktop

For gas cooktop users, many paella pans would work. Pans like the Garcima 16-inch Paella Pan and Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet work well on gas cooktops. There are many paella pans on the market that are capable of withstanding this type of cooktop. Great material options include carbon steel, copper, and cast iron paella pan. Though any paella pan would work on a gas stove.

Electric, Ceramic, or Induction Cooktops

These cooktops are flat, so you’ll need a pan with a flat bottom as well. This will allow the heat to get transferred throughout the bottom of the pan. The round-bottomed paella pan is designed for gas cooktops and outdoor cooking. Hence, it won’t work on flat cooktops like electric, ceramic, and induction.

For induction cooktops, a carbon steel paella pan with a flat bottom is an excellent choice. A stainless steel pan built-in magnetic plate on the pan’s base is designed for an induction cooktop. SOme flat bottom enameled paella pans would work too. But you need to consult the manufacturer’s manual first.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best paella pan to use?

There are many paella pans out there, but not all can give you an authentic outcome. The best paella pan you could use would be the Garcima 16-inch Paella Pan. It’s durable, safe to use on all stovetops, and it’s inexpensive. A true bang for the buck paella pan for you and your family.

What should a paella pan be made of?

The material of the pan you will use depends on your personal preference. Paella pans are constructed from either carbon steel, enameled steel, stainless steel, or copper. Electric, ceramic, or induction cooktops require a paella pan with a flat bottom. This is a must to distribute the heat efficiently. While any paella pan material will work on a gas stove.

What are paella pans good for?

Paella pans are very functional. Besides making the traditional Spanish dish, it’s good for searing steaks, fish fillets, and chicken cutlets. It’s also an excellent griddle for pancakes, eggs, bacon, and more. You can also use paella pans for stir-frying as an alternative to a wok.

What’s the best rice for paella?

Spanish rice is the best for whatever version of paella you are making. Also known as “bomba” rice, calasparra rice, and arroz redonda, this rice is traditional in paellas. Its short-grain absorbs more water than regular rice does without becoming mushy.

How are paella pans measured?

Paella pan sizes refer to the top diameter and are measured from rim to rim. The real measurements are in centimeters. Then, rounded up or down to the nearest inch. The sloping sides of the pans make the bottom diameter of the pan to be always less than the top. Note that the handles of paella pans are not a part of the measurement.

Conclusion

I chose to put the Garcima 16-inch Paella Pan on top because not only is it affordable, but its quality is also comparable to its higher-priced counterparts. Another paella pan I would recommend from the same brand is the Garcima 12-Inch Enameled Steel Paella Pan. If you’re looking for something that’s also budget-friendly, durable, and good enough for everyday use, this might be a sweet choice.

If you’re searching for one that’s Kosher-certified, the Victoria Cast Iron Paella Frying Pan could be the one you’re looking for. With a non-GMO flaxseed oil coating, you’ll ensure safety in paella. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty. Cast iron fans would love the FINEX 10-inch Cast Iron Skillet. This skillet is indestructible and made for lifelong use. And just like the Victoria pan, it’s also pre-seasoned with organic flaxseed oil for healthy eating.

And last but not the least, the Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet makes a great paella pan for its durability. It’s also pre-seasoned with natural oil. If you occasionally cook in a high heat setting, the Lodge might be one to consider.

With all the knowledge you’ve gained from this article, I hope that you’ll be able to get the right paella pan for you. Check out the current price of each pan and invite your friends for a fun paella cookout!